Maddie went to an awesome preschool, with all the important accreditations, for three years. After three years of trying to teach her the alphabet in preschool, we went into kindergarten with the thought that she just wasn’t ready. “This will be the year,” we thought. And we were reassured this would be the case. “Stop comparing her to your other children!” Resounding advice from everyone. The same advice I give others, of course. But who among us takes their own advice?
At the fall conference, I made my concerns clear. “She is where an average kindergartener would be expected to be.” Okay, if her teacher says so, it must be, right? As the year went on, it seemed we had to do tons of work for a tiny bit of progress. Finally, by Christmas she seemed to have most of her letters down. In the New Year, we started to learn sight words : “a”, “go”, “is”, etc. These were a struggle each and every time. But my little wanna-be-reader kept at it. We did make a little forward progress. We were happy we could help her in any way. And now, the spring conference:
“I am really happy with Maddie’s progress this year,” the teacher tells me. “Mrs. S also states she is progressing well.”
“Who is Mrs. S?”
“The reading specialist.”
“What reading specialist?”
“Maddie has been getting pulled out of class four days per week for half an hour to work with the reading specialist this year.”
The floor is dropping out from beneath me.
“How long has this been going on? Are other students working with the specialist?”
“It has been all year. There are three students getting extra help from our class. In the fall, we will reassess her and decide her needs for first grade.”
I’m going to throw up.
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